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What is the BMW X6?

The X6 is one of BMW’s larger SUVs - and that even number in the badge signifies its sporting intent; like the X2 and X4 below it, the X6 wears a more coupe-like top hat on top of its 4x4 SUV hardware. Think of it as a more sporting version of the X5.

The X6 is nearly identical to the X5 underneath, but is lower-slung and that sharply angled roofline means there’s less space on board. It’s predominantly bought by those wanting the higher driving position of an SUV, with a little more swagger.

It still packs seating for four, or five at a push if you squeeze three across the back seat, and the boot is a decent size. Read on for our full introduction to the BMW X6 range.

At-a-glance 2019 BMW X6 specs

  • Top speed: 143-155mph
  • 0-62mph: 5.2-6.7sec
  • Fuel economy: 29.4-33.6mpg
  • Emissions: 183-205g/km
  • Boot space: 580-1525 litres

Which versions of the BMW X6 are available?

There is only one bodystyle of X6 in showrooms, all with five doors to aid with family practicality. In 2019, just three engine choices are available and all petrol options have been dropped in the UK.

The cheapest way into the X6 range is the xDrive 30d M Sport, but you can trade up to the 40d which adds another 55hp. At the top of the range is the M50d, which is now the solitary model to wear the M badge.

This car rivals sporting SUVs such as the Porsche Cayenne Coupe and Range Rover Sport.

BMW X6 styling and engineering

It’s a familiar recipe at play here. The X6 is essentially an X5 in a racier, Friday night outfit. Even-number BMW X cars are the more coupe-inspired, slinkier examples and the X6 meets that brief, with not a little gangster-swagger from the lower roofline.

We’d recommend thinking through your needs before deciding between the X5 and X6. This is still a big car and although the lower silhouette does ultimately rob some practicality, you’ll be surprised by how much space remains in the back of the X6.

BMW X6 rear

Every model has BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system so you can rest assured that traction and grip in slippery conditions is first rate. Even the base models are well equipped, with M Sport spec bringing 20-inch alloy wheels, BMW Connected+ connectivity services for real-time traffic intel and more.

Is the BMW X6 good to drive?

The X6 feels much like the X5 when you’re behind the wheel, maybe hunkered down a tad with its sportier stance. This is a good thing. The big BMW SUVs are among our favourite large premium 4x4s to drive, with impressive body control that belie their bulky heft when you hustle them down a back road.

Yet they also play the family transport and long-distance cruiser roles well, too. Standard big wheels and tyres bring a fair amount of patter, but the suspension does a decent job of juggling comfort with dynamism.

As you can see from the BMW X6 specs, this is a rapid car with impressive performance figures. Even the slowest 30d model is fleet of foot and the punchier 40d and M50d models bring some startling acceleration ability.

How much does the BMW X6 cost?

Prices for the BMW X6 kick off north of £60,000, so this is not a cheap car. The X6 is comfortably outsold by the X5 and that means it’s a niche car with less pressure to sell.

That said, you should still shop around for savings and discounts as our research suggests deals knocking up to £6k off the list price are available.

BMW X6 Model History

First-generation BMW X6 (2008-2014)

BMW X6 first generation (2008-14)

BMW first introduced the lower-slung X6 in 2007, pioneering what has now become an established market niche. It seemed controversial back then to blend something of a sports car top hat with the waders of an SUV underneath.

The format of the first X6 was remarkably similar to today’s model. A slightly lower roofline impacted on interior space, but brought some catwalk cool. Nowhere was this more apparent than with the X6 M, a red-hot performance SUV with the heart of a BMW M5 V8 turbo engine. This model has been quietly dropped in recent years, and was always a niche seller.

This generation of X6 was internally codenamed the E71 and most cars were more likely to be diesel-powered by the 30d, 35d or 40d engines. Petrol fans were served by the 35i and 50i. All models had xDrive all-wheel drive.